Ange Postecoglou claimed the foundations at Tottenham are "really fragile" after a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City put paid to their Champions League qualification hopes.

Erling Haaland struck twice in the second half as City leapfrogged Spurs' bitter rivals Arsenal to return to the Premier League summit heading into the final day.

Postecoglou had been left flabbergasted in the build-up by Tottenham fans claiming they would be happy to lose to Pep Guardiola's side in order to dent the Gunners' title bid.

And while there was a generally flat atmosphere inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, home supporters were filmed celebrating City's opening goal while others chanted "are you watching Arsenal?"

The head coach, who was also captured arguing with a Spurs fan, was left far from impressed as his side's top-four hopes ended, with Aston Villa securing a place in next season's Champions League at their expense.

"The foundations are really fragile," he said. "The last 48 hours have shown me that. "It's inside the club, outside the club, everywhere. It's been an interesting exercise. It's just my observations.

"I can't dictate what people do. They're allowed to express themselves any way they want. But when we've got late winners in games, it's because the crowd has helped us.

"Maybe, I'm out of step, but I just don't care, I just want to win. I want to be successful at this football club; that's why I was brought in. So how other people want to feel, and what their priorities are, are of zero interest to me.

"I know what's important to build a winning team - that's what I need to concentrate on."

Ange Postecoglou was left to rue missed chances as Tottenham's Champions League hopes were ended after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Spurs needed three points to take the Premier League's top-four race to the final day but were undone by Pep Guardiola's side, who moved within touching distance of another top-flight title.

Erling Haaland's routine tap-in from Kevin De Bruyne's brilliance after 51 minutes proved a cruel blow before the City striker's stoppage-time penalty sealed a decisive three points.

It could have been a different story, though, if Stefan Ortega – on as a second-half substitute for Ederson – did not deny Heung-min Son's gilt-edged chance following Manuel Akanji's error.

The City goalkeeper denied the onrushing Spurs forward when one-on-one with the visitors 1-0 up, and Postecoglou acknowledged his side failed to seize their opportunities.

"We lost the game so it was a missed chance for three points," the frustrated Tottenham manager told Sky Sports.

"We had the opportunities and we had to punish them. It was a tight game and in the big moments we were not able to capitalise and they were.

"I thought we were in the game the whole time, even at 1-0 we had a great chance to go level.

"In the second half we were chasing the game so they got a little more space but I thought we were well in it up until that point [the second goal]."

Spurs' loss proved Aston Villa's gain as Unai Emery's side qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history, ending a 41-year absence after last featuring in the European Cup in 1982-83.

Postecoglou found it hard to seek the immediate positives, having watched Tottenham fall short and inadvertently damage rivals Arsenal's title hopes in the process.

"We lost the game so I am disappointed," the Australian added, before responding to whether any pride could be taken. 

"Not right now because we have lost. We will assess the season, still one more game to go, one more game against Sheffield United and we need to make sure we win.

"I think wherever you finish is a fair reflection of where you are at."

Tottenham will finish outside the top four for the fourth time in the last five seasons, after finishing in the Champions League spots in Mauricio Pochettino’s final four full campaigns in charge (2015-16 to 2018-19).

Postecoglou acknowledged there is still work to do to catch up with England's perennial champions City.

Asked how his side measure up to Guardiola's men, he said: Nothing earth-shattering that I didn't know before the game. We still have some work to do. We need to do some work to catch up."

Pep Guardiola knows Manchester City have no choice but to end their Premier League hoodoo at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday, saying anything but a win will hand Arsenal the title.

Following Arsenal's 1-0 win at Manchester United on Sunday, City are one point behind the Gunners at the summit with a game in hand.

Arsenal are now in the unenviable position of needing a favour from their North London rivals, as a City win will ensure they enter this weekend's final set of fixtures with the title race in their hands.  

However, City have lost on all four of their visits to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Premier League without scoring, though they did manage a 1-0 FA Cup win there in January.

Only Birmingham City (seven at Old Trafford) have played more Premier League games at a specific stadium without finding the net.

Asked about the importance of ending that record, Guardiola said: "It's obvious, I would say. We have just one option, win the game. We will go from there.

"We played really well there many times but weren't able to score or win games. We are trying to do something special, so we have to do that this time.

"This is the time to do it, otherwise Arsenal will be champions."

Some Tottenham fans have expressed unease about the prospect of helping their old enemies end their 20-year wait to be crowned champions of England, but Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou has hit out at those questioning his team's motivation.

"What do you think we're going to do as a team? Like any team on this planet, aren't we just going to try and win? It's a simple, basic premise," Postecoglou said. 

"Now how that makes people feel, I'm not really fussed. I don't really care."

Touching on City's hunt for an unprecedented fourth straight English top-flight title, he added: "Sometimes people think once you win it once it becomes easier, but it becomes harder.

"It's a testament not just to Pep but the whole organisation and how they want to achieve success."


Tottenham – Dejan Kulusevski 

Kulsevski has been directly involved in five goals in his four Premier League games against City, more than he has versus any other opponent in the competition (three goals, two assists).

The Swede scored a last-minute equaliser as the sides played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in December's reverse fixture, but he has failed to net in any of his last 11 Premier League matches.

Manchester City – Phil Foden

Foden and Jack Grealish both scored in City's reverse fixture against Spurs. The only previous players to score home and away against Tottenham in a Premier League season for the Citizens are Sergio Aguero (2013-14 and 2014-15), Ilkay Gundogan (2017-18) and Raheem Sterling (2017-18).

Foden netted his 25th goal of the campaign across all competitions in City's 4-0 rout of Fulham on Saturday, and the Player of the Season candidate will play a key role here.


Arsenal supporters may not feel great about having to cheer on their old rivals, but history suggests Tottenham have a chance of providing a twist in the title race – regardless of how their own fans feel about that prospect.

Indeed, City have lost more Premier League games against Tottenham under Guardiola (six), than they have against any other side.

The champions, however, are in ominous form, going unbeaten through their last 21 Premier League matches (17 wins, four draws). 

Only once have they enjoyed a longer run in the competition, going 30 without losing between April 2017 and January 2018.

They have also won their last four away league games, the last three of them by an aggregate score of 10-0. Only once in their league history have they won four in a row on the road without conceding, doing so as a second-tier club between March and April 1903.

Regardless of their terrible record on this ground, it is difficult to see the champions slipping up.


Tottenham – 20.1%

Manchester City – 54.8%

Draw – 25.1%

Ange Postecoglou does not believe the Tottenham fans want their side to lose and insists his side will not "roll out the red carpet" for Manchester City.

The Premier League title race will go down to the final day after Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday, but it is yet to be decided who will go into the last match on top of the table.

City sit one point behind the Gunners, and if they win their game in hand over Spurs on Tuesday, they will reclaim top spot.

However, an Aston Villa win over Liverpool on Monday would end Spurs’ chances of Champions League qualification, meaning they would have nothing to play for against the title holders.

Arsenal need a favour from their North London rivals if they want to win their first Premier League title since 2004, but Postecoglou says he does not believe that will affect what result the fans want.

He said: "You think the majority of our fans are not going to want us to win?

"I don't see it that way. I think the majority of our fans will create the atmosphere they always create at our games. We've got a game of football to win and that's what we'll try to do.

"City haven't won it yet and if you think they have, then it becomes an issue because we're rolling out a red carpet for them, and I'm not going to do that.

"I'm not just going to sit there and watch them win. That doesn't sit comfortably with me."

Pressed on if a proportion of fans would be against a positive result, Postecoglou added: "A proportion of our fans? What does that mean? What proportion? 50 per cent? 20 per cent? One per cent?

"That's fine, people are allowed to feel the way they do.

"But I think I've been consistent and really strong in my beliefs that it's important for this football club not to look for silver bullets to get to where we want to; it's hard work, it's resilience, it's quality, not to fall for any false dawns - and know what real success looks like: trophies.

"Anything else in between, bragging rights, whatever it is, is absolutely meaningless to me or anyone involved with me. We've got a game we want to win."

Vincent Kompany is looking to start Burnley's preparations for next season as soon as possible after their relegation was confirmed with defeat away at Tottenham.

Burnley knew they had to win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday to keep any hopes of staying up alive, and Jacob Bruun Larsen's first-half strike put the Clarets ahead in north London.

However, Pedro Porro equalised for the hosts, before Micky van de Ven slotted home in the 82nd minute to condemn Kompany's men to the second tier after just one season back in the top-flight.

Burnley's last campaign in the Championship ended in immediate promotion, in impressive fashion too as they romped to the title.

Kompany is hoping for more of the same next term, telling BBC Sport: "Today the Premier League is over, but tomorrow we start day one of doing everything we can to get back to the Premier League.

"I'm very lucky to be surrounded by good people, hard-working players, staff and fans who have backed the club for generations. That's who we try to do it for every weekend.

"The game has gone a bit like others have gone for us this season. We created chances but the one where we missed the final pass.

"I'm not here sulking and feeling sorry for us, but if you take every game, every season as a learning experience, this is a step we need to get into our game."

Spurs had previously lost four on the bounce, and it appeared they would slip up further as Saturday's contest went on until Van de Ven's crucial late goal ensured the three points, moving them four points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa with two games remaining.

Ange Postecoglou's men accumulated an xG (expected goals) of 2.5 to Burnley's 0.75, and the Spurs boss felt his side should have cruised to a much more routine win than it ultimately proved to be.

"We were dominant enough," Postecoglou told BBC Sport. "Their keeper was outstanding today and we had enough chances.

"It's always difficult when you lose four matches in a row and it is only natural there will be a bit of anxiety and a bit of stress there.

"For the most part I think we handled the game well, and we finished the game strong. It should have been a more comfortable victory, but the most important thing is we won the game."

Van de Ven's cool finish was his third goal of the season, and the 23-year-old's performances at centre-back since joining from Wolfsburg prior to the campaign have earned plaudits.

Postecoglou is delighted with the defender's maiden Premier League campaign, saying: "He's not a bad player, is he? He's outstanding and that's the exciting thing for me - it is his first year in Premier League football.

"I can't think of too many players who have made such an impact in their first year of Premier League football, and knowing he only really had one year in the Bundesliga. It's not like he's a seasoned professional.

"He has had a few injury problems, but when he's played he has been outstanding."

Vincent Kompany says Burnley have no choice but to go "all out" in their final two games of the Premier League season, needing to win both to have any chance of avoiding relegation.

The Clarets approach Saturday's trip to Tottenham in 19th, five points adrift of 17th-placed Nottingham Forest, who they face at the City Ground on the final day.

To tee up a winner-take-all clash with Nuno Espirito Santo's team, Burnley must win at Spurs and hope Forest lose to Chelsea later on Saturday, given the Clarets possess a vastly inferior goal difference.

With Burnley facing up to the prospect of a fourth relegation from the Premier League, Kompany says they have nothing to lose.

"Let's just go all out. Let's have a good go and do ourselves proud," he said. 

"That's the goal we have. I would love the fans to come out of this place with a special experience.

"In the end, I wouldn't describe this as a high-pressure game. We don't have anything to lose. If we go into the game protecting a two-point lead, then it's a different mindset."

Tottenham, meanwhile, appear destined to miss out on Champions League qualification after losing four straight Premier League games, leaving them needing a perfect set of results to overhaul fourth-placed Aston Villa. 

Spurs' defensive frailties were ruthlessly exploited in a 4-2 defeat to Liverpool last time out, leading to criticism of Ange Postecoglou from some sections of the fanbase.

However, the former Celtic boss says he needs time to complete Tottenham's turnaround, telling Optus Sport: "It was never going to happen in two transfer windows. 

"What you've got to remember is, when I came in last year, the team had finished eighth last season, but it wasn't a team on the climb.

"It was eighth for a team going in the other direction. So you've got eighth, in decline, you lose your best player and we want you to totally change the way we play."


Tottenham – Richarlison

Richarlison recorded a goal and an assist off the bench against Liverpool last week. He is the only player to achieve that feat as a substitute twice this season, also doing so in Spurs' 2-1 win over Sheffield United back in September.

The Brazilian could be reintroduced into Postecoglou's lineup on Saturday, and he will be desperate to make an impact amid rumours concerning his Tottenham future.

Burnley – Arijanet Muric 

While Muric has been criticised for making some high-profile errors, he has the highest save percentage of any goalkeeper in the Premier League this season (81.3 per cent).

Despite playing just eight games, he has also prevented the second most goals (seven) in the league, according to Opta's expected goals on target (xGoT) model (18 xGoT faced, 11 goals conceded excluding own goals). He could be busy again on Saturday.


Tottenham have won seven of their eight previous Premier League home games against Burnley (one draw), winning the last four without conceding. Only against Crystal Palace between 2015 and 2019 have they won five in a row at home while keeping a clean sheet each time in the competition.

Spurs have, however, gone 13 home league games without a clean sheet – their longest run since enduring a 15-match streak between December 2002 and September 2003. 

Last week's loss at Anfield represented the fourth time they have conceded four or more goals in a Premier League game this season, their most in a single campaign since 2013-14 (five).

As Tottenham look to avoid losing five straight Premier League games for the first time since 2004 (a run of six under Jacques Santini and Martin Jol), they may just be thankful for this fixture against the Clarets, who have been found wanting at the top level this season.

Burnley have lost all seven of their league games against teams starting the day in the top five this term by an aggregate score of 24-7 – including a 5-2 defeat in the reverse fixture at Turf Moor. 

While Kompany's team will give it a go, their campaign looks destined to end in relegation.


Tottenham – 64%

Burnley – 13.8%

Draw – 22.2%

Ange Postecoglou says that Tottenham need to "overcome" their low confidence after suffering a 4-2 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

Spurs slipped to their fourth consecutive Premier League defeat, being left to bemoan their slow start as they found themselves 4-0 down by the hour mark thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, Andrew Robertson, Cody Gakpo and Harvey Elliott.

Richarlison came off the bench to salvage some pride for Spurs, scoring one before setting up Son Heung-min for a goal on his 300th Premier League appearance.

Spurs had the opportunity to cut the gap to the top four after Aston Villa’s defeat to Brighton, but they remain seven points off a Champions League spot.

Postecoglou’s side still have a game in hand over the Villans, though he was sure that Spurs would be able to put their recent poor run behind them.

Asked if Spurs had a confidence problem, Postecoglou told Sky Sports: "Maybe in the front third there is.

"It probably is a bit of a lack of confidence, but again, that's something the guys have to work through.

"You have to find a way to overcome that because, ultimately, if you don't put pressure on the opposition in the front third after you've worked your way up there, they're going to get comfortable with their position."

Spurs have won just one of their last nine Premier League away games, failing to win any of the last five.

Despite that run extending at Anfield, Postecoglou highlighted what he thought was an improvement on their recent performances.

He continued: "Obviously a hugely disappointing outcome for us but at least we were more like ourselves today in terms of our football.

"Our last two away games at Newcastle and Chelsea, apart from the results which weren't great either, we just didn't try and play our football.

"I thought today, even in the first half, some of our football, our pressing was back to where it should be."

Jurgen Klopp may be out for a slight revenge on Sunday when Liverpool meet Tottenham at Anfield, having fallen foul of VAR controversy in the reverse Premier League clash.

Spurs won 2-1 at home in the previous meeting in September thanks to Joel Matip's last-gasp own goal as a nine-man Liverpool were unable to hold on at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Reds also had a first-half goal from Luis Diaz ruled out for offside by the VAR after a miscommunication between the video officials and the assistant referee.

With third-placed Liverpool winless in two league games after their 2-2 draw with West Ham last time out, Klopp has that controversy on his mind ahead of the second clash at Anfield.

"It's always a challenge [against Spurs]," the Liverpool manager said at his pre-match press conference.

"I don't want to make it the biggest subject, but I can't forget the Tottenham game as well, it's just so strange.

"So, now we play Tottenham and that was obviously not their fault that night, they just played the game, but I would like to win that game for 500 reasons, that we lost there and the way we lost is one of them."

Tottenham have struggled recently, losing each of their last three after a 2-0 defeat against Chelsea that left them seven points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa, who have played a game more.

Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou was visibly furious in the first half at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, and acknowledged Tottenham have a long way to go to compete with the elite.

He said: "We need change. Change has to happen. You can’t want to alter your course, and quite dramatically for this club because we went down a certain direction and now we’re pivoting to a whole different direction.

"To expect the same people are going to be on that… it's just not going to happen.

"We've had two windows and we've had some development of players but when I say we've still got a long way to go, that's what I'm talking about."


Liverpool – Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah may have a point to prove against Tottenham, after his disagreement with Klopp before coming on at London Stadium in Liverpool's last outing.

The Egypt forward has gone four Premier League games without a goal or assist – and now is the time for Salah to step up and deliver for the Reds.

Tottenham – Son Heung-min

Son Heung-min has scored in each of his last four Premier League appearances against Liverpool, putting Spurs 1-0 up in the reverse fixture in September.

The only player to score in five consecutive Premier League games against the Reds is Jamie Vardy (between 2016 and 2017).


Liverpool may not have won in two Premier League games but they are the favourites in this clash, owing to their remarkable head-to-head record with Spurs at Anfield.

The Reds have lost just one of their last 29 home league matches against Tottenham (W19 D9), a 2-0 defeat way back in May 2011.

Yet it will be no walkover as Spurs are looking to complete their first league double over Liverpool since the 2010-11 season, beating two different Reds managers that season (Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish).

Their last league double over the Reds beating the same manager twice was in Dalglish’s first spell in 1986-87, and this one could be filled with more late drama, too.

Liverpool (3) v Tottenham (3) has provided six 90th-minute winners in the Premier League, the most of any fixture in the competition’s history.

Indeed, both of the last two league meetings between the two sides have been won courtesy of a 90th-minute winner for the home team – will there be another here?


Liverpool win – 55.7%

Tottenham win – 19.5%

Draw – 24.8%

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has conceded Spurs "need change" after a poor run of form has seen their Champions League hopes fade.

Spurs sit fifth in the Premier League, but a sorry performance against Chelsea in a 2-0 loss on Thursday left them seven points behind Aston Villa.

Tottenham have lost their last three matches, conceding nine goals, though those defeats have come against Newcastle United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

And while Postecoglou has had a promising first season, he stressed the requirement for changes to Spurs' playing squad if they are to settle wholly into his preferred style of play.

"We need change. Change has to happen," Postecoglou said ahead of Sunday's clash with Liverpool.

"We're pivoting to a whole different direction, expecting the same people are going to be in on that... it's just not going to happen.

"We've had two windows and we've had some development of players, for sure, but when I say we've still got a long way to go, that's what I'm talking about.

"We can't be there yet because it's impossible to say you're going to have drastic change and yet expect everyone to be on that journey... whether it's Liverpool or Arsenal, by the time they win the competition or have success, the team's almost unrecognisable."

Richarlison, who enjoyed a rich run of form earlier in the campaign but has not scored since netting twice against his former club Everton in February, is one of the players who Spurs will reportedly listen to offers for in the upcoming transfer window.

After playing Liverpool, Spurs face Burnley and Manchester City before rounding off their campaign against already-relegated Sheffield United.

Tottenham simply have to put in the hard graft as they look to salvage something from what is turning out to be a disappointing end to the campaign.

Spurs' Champions League hopes appear to be fading fast after they lost for a third straight game in the Premier League, going down 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Tottenham have four games remaining, albeit that includes meetings with Liverpool and Manchester City, and they are seven points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

They were particularly vulnerable from set-pieces once again, with both of Chelsea's goals coming from such scenarios.

Asked how Spurs can turn it around, Postecoglou said told BBC Sport: "Just hard work mate, there's no major formula. We will work hard and make sure we get it right."

He added: "It wasn't a great night for us. We didn't play at the levels we needed to and didn't deserve something from it.

"We lacked belief and conviction in our game. I don't know if it is low confidence but we are not playing with the mindset we need to play the football we want to and that is something I have to look at.

"It is on me to fix it. That is what we will be doing. We had bigger issues tonight than set pieces."

Speaking to Sky Sports, the Tottenham boss said: "I feel like we've lost a bit of belief and conviction in our football and that is on me to change that.

"It wasn't about conceding the [first] goal, it was our approach to playing football and we were nowhere near good enough. That is on me.

"We've been in a bit of a grind for a while now, that is part of our challenge and part of our growth. We have to go out there and perform and sometimes you have to grind out. We were poor today."

Spurs defender Micky van de Ven, meanwhile, conceded Champions League qualification looks out of sight.

"It will be difficult. I don't want to look up to the Champions League after this game, it was not a good performance from us and it is important we play a good game on Sunday," he said.

Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, became the first manager to complete a Premier League double over Tottenham having previously managed them in the competition.

Chelsea are up to eighth, just three points behind sixth-placed Manchester United.

"So happy and so pleased. So happy for our players," Pochettino said.

"The first half was fantastic. Then you have to contain and suffer. Tottenham have quality players. Not too much to say, all credit to the players."

Trevoh Chalobah and Nicolas Jackson scored as Chelsea dealt a huge blow to Tottenham's Champions League hopes, recording a 2-0 derby win over Mauricio Pochettino's old club at Stamford Bridge.

Exactly eight years on from the memorable "Battle of the Bridge" between the teams, which saw nine Spurs players booked in a fiery 2-2 draw that confirmed Leicester City as champions, Chelsea inflicted more woe upon their rivals.

Spurs paid for lacklustre set-piece defending midway through the first half as Chalobah headed Conor Gallagher's free-kick home, then Jackson pounced when Cole Palmer rattled the crossbar from another dead ball 72 minutes in.

Ange Postecoglou's side were far from their free-flowing best and have now lost three straight Premier League games. They stay fifth, seven points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa with just one game in hand.

Chelsea, meanwhile, climb above West Ham into eighth, just three points adrift of Manchester United in sixth.

The Blues went agonisingly close to a fifth-minute lead as Jackson raced through on goal to slot his effort under Guglielmo Vicario, but Micky van de Ven raced back to hook it off the line and Palmer could not sort his feet out on the rebound.

Chelsea were ahead after 24 minutes, though, as Chalobah met Gallagher's deep free-kick with a looping header into the top-right corner, the goal being confirmed by VAR following a check for a possible foul by Marc Cucurella.

Mykhailo Mudryk went close with a curling effort as Tottenham continued to toil, the visitors' best chance of the first half coming when Cristian Romero headed Pedro Porro's free-kick wide.

Ange Postecoglou cut an animated figure before half-time, and his side improved after the restart, but Chelsea could have had a second when Palmer shot over at the end of a promising break.

Chelsea did double their advantage with 18 minutes to play, the opportunistic Jackson heading into an unguarded net after Palmer's free-kick clattered off the woodwork with Vicario at full stretch.

Tottenham never looked like responding from there, and they now need a minor miracle to secure a top-four finish.

Pochettino haunts former employers

Having also overseen Chelsea's memorable 4-1 win in November's return fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Pochettino completed a league double over his former employers.

He is the first coach to ever beat Spurs home and away in a single Premier League campaign having previously managed them in the competition.

The Argentine's first season at Stamford Bridge may not have gone entirely to plan, but there may just be green shoots of recovery emerging in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Having endured a run of one win in 14 home Premier League games between March and November last year (seven draws, six losses), Chelsea – who face West Ham next – have now won eight of their last 10 on their own turf (one draw, one defeat).

Set-pieces costing Spurs

Tottenham have a set-piece problem. Arsenal ruthlessly exploited some slack marking from their neighbours to score two goals from corners in Sunday's north London derby, and on Thursday, it was two free-kicks that undid Postecoglou's men.

Prior to this game, Spurs had conceded 12 goals from set-pieces, excluding penalties, in the Premier League this season. Only Manchester United (15.3) and Burnley (14.9) had allowed opponents a higher cumulative expected goals (xG) figure from such situations than their 14.3.

They did not learn their lesson, Emerson Royal and Brennan Johnson getting nowhere near Chalobah as he headed home from a routine delivery to the back post for the opener.

Those fine margins could prove incredibly costly, with Tottenham now a long way adrift of top-four rivals Aston Villa with daunting fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester City still to come. 

Ange Postecoglou says Mauricio Pochettino’s time at Tottenham was a success despite him not winning any trophies.

Spurs will face their former manager’s Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, with both teams needing points in the race for a top-seven finish.

Pochettino led Spurs to a Champions League final and three consecutive top-three finishes in the Premier League during his five-year spell between 2014 and 2019.

The Argentinian failed to lift a trophy in his time at the club, but Postecoglou thinks it is unfair to use that as a baseline for Pochettino’s success.

"I mean it's a funny one you know because if all we measure sort of success on is just trophies, then okay. You know, but I don't think that's what life's about,” he said.

"I think anyone who doesn't think that Mauricio's five and a half years here were successful, doesn't really appreciate, I think, football for what it is because, you know, to get to the Champions League final, to, you know, come runners-up in the toughest league in the world.

"There's no silverware but in my mind, particularly the way he developed that group, I think he was a success.

"This is the business we're in and we get measured by – most of us get measured by other things so we've got to accept that."

Spurs have not won a trophy this season, but they are still in the race for a Champions League spot and sit seven points behind Aston Villa with two games in hand.

Asked about his own success in his first season at the club, he added: "They're not questions I need to ask, or I need to sort of investigate.

"As I said, I go by what I see now, today, what's important to me today. What's important to me is how the lads train and get ready for a big game."

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has joked he may move to Sweden in order to escape VAR, claiming it has changed English football for the worse. 

Plans to introduce VAR to the Swedish Allsvenskan – the country's top tier – have been dropped amid fierce opposition from clubs and supporters.

The use of VAR in the Premier League has been a major talking point throughout the season, with a number of high-profile controversies undermining fan support for the technology. 

Last week, Mauricio Pochettino said VAR had "damaged" the image of English football after Axel Disasi had a potential stoppage-time winner chalked off during Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Aston Villa.

Ahead of Thursday's meeting with Pochettino's Blues, Postecoglou was asked whether English clubs might follow the lead of their Swedish counterparts. 

"I'm moving there. I don't have a job, I'm just moving there," Postecoglou joked, before adding: "Yeah, it's here to stay, absolutely. It's not going away. 

"I'd change a hell of a lot on it, but I've said that before. I think it's changed the game materially, which I don't think was the intention when it was brought in."

Postecoglou also seemed to suggest the application of VAR in England has been more troublesome than elsewhere, saying it had worked "seamlessly" in Tuesday's Champions League semi-final draw between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

"I watched the Champions League last night like everyone else, and if you hadn't told me VAR was part of the game I wouldn't have known," Postecoglou added. 

"I'm sure they had decisions to make but it seemed to work pretty seamlessly.

"Like I said, we're trying to pick the bones out of every little thing that happens in a football game at the moment – whether that's the referee or any other part. 

"I don't like it, it changes the game, it changes the game experience whether you're involved or not as an active spectator. Hopefully they'll find the right sort of ground for it to work."

Mauricio Pochettino says facing his former club Tottenham will always be "emotional", but his full focus is on guiding Chelsea through a testing period ahead of Thursday's London derby at Stamford Bridge.

Pochettino enjoyed a successful five-year stint with Spurs between 2014 and 2019, leading them to a Champions League final and to three straight top-three Premier League finishes.

He has found the going more difficult since taking over a Chelsea side still going through a transitional period under the Todd Boehly regime, with the big-spending Blues sitting ninth in the Premier League table. 

Chelsea did beat Tottenham 4-1 in a memorable return fixture in November, meaning Pochettino could become the first coach to complete a Premier League double over Spurs having previously managed them in the competition. 

"It will be emotional coming up against people who I worked with for a long period. I can't hide my emotion for the club," Pochettino told reporters on Wednesday.

"But across 90 minutes we want to win and Tottenham are going to come here to try and win."

Chelsea are five points adrift of the top seven with a game in hand, and Pochettino believes the club are taking the first steps on a path similar to that followed by his Spurs team.

"Tottenham was amazing because the challenge was to create a team that could compete with top sides," he added.

"Now at Chelsea, we are in the process of building an exciting project that needs time and this is maybe the most challenging period."

Tottenham are in desperate need of points if they are to reel in Aston Villa and secure a top-four finish, having suffered back-to-back defeats against Newcastle United (0-4) and Arsenal (2-3).

Despite their recent slide, Ange Postecoglou is in no doubt that his team have made big strides this term, saying: "What I see is us playing football, measuring ourselves against the best. 

"My players have got real belief in what we are doing. That's all I need to see."


Chelsea – Cole Palmer

Palmer, whose tally of 20 Premier League goals this term has only been bettered by Erling Haaland (21), has scored hat-tricks in each of his last two home games, netting three goals against Manchester United and four versus Everton.

The only player to ever score three or more goals in three straight home Premier League matches is Haaland, who did so against Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest and United last season.

Tottenham – Guglielmo Vicario

Vicario failed to command his area from corners as Arsenal scored twice from such situations in last week's North London derby, and it's an area in which the Italian needs to improve.

Only United (15.3) and Burnley (14.9) have allowed their opponents a higher cumulative expected goals (xG) figure from set-piece situations than Tottenham's 14.3 in the Premier League this season, though Chelsea's tally of 83 shots from dead-balls is a league-low number.


Chelsea have a great record against their London rivals, recording 34 Premier League wins over Spurs. Only United have beaten them more often in the competition, with 39 victories. 

At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have only lost one of the last 33 league meetings between the sides, going down 3-1 in April 2018 when Pochettino was in the Tottenham dugout.

Tottenham are looking to avoid suffering three straight Premier League defeats for the second time this season, having also done so in November – a run which began with their 4-1 defeat in the reverse fixture against Chelsea. 

Postecoglou's men could think themselves unfortunate on that occasion, though, missing several good chances to get back into the game despite being reduced to nine men by red cards for Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie. 

One thing is for certain – goals should be expected. Chelsea have already conceded 59 Premier League goals this term, their most in a single campaign in the competition, while Spurs have shipped 52 and failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six matches. An entertaining draw could be on the cards. 


Chelsea – 39.9%

Tottenham – 32.6%

Draw 27.5%

Ange Postecoglou admitted "I don't celebrate goals any more" after VAR denied Tottenham during their north London derby defeat by Arsenal.

Spurs were beaten 3-2 by their rivals, who kept their Premier League title challenge on track, despite a late rally having trailed 3-0 at half-time at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Trailing 1-0 to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's own-goal, the hosts thought they had equalised when Micky van de Ven slotted past David Raya, However, the decision to award the goal was overturned following a VAR review with the defender adjudged to be offside.

Arsenal took advantage of their let-off with Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz increasing their lead, while second-half strikes from Cristiano Romero and Heung-Min Son proved academic for Tottenham.

"Games aren’t refereed in the stadium any more," Postecoglou told reporters during his post-match press conference. "I don’t celebrate goals any more.

"You've got to wait for somebody down the road. It’s a shame, I don’t like it, but I’ve got to accept it."

The Spurs boss was pleased with his side's response after the break, and hopes his players will benefit from the disappointment of losing the derby.

"It's a big day for our club and our fans, and we didn't get the outcome we wanted, so it's obviously very disappointing," he added on SpursTalk.

"You can go out in the second half and accept your fate that it's not your day, but we had to show some resilience and fight - just for our supporters more than anything else. To be fair to the lads, they did that.

"We just lacked some focus today in key moments, particularly in the first half. Sometimes, you've got to feel the pain of it to learn that lesson properly."

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